Seed Money Support: Frequently Asked Questions


If I am applying for both the ACS IRG and the Pilot Project awards, which application do I use?

Use the ACS IRG application. Check the box on the cover of the application stating that you also wish to be considered for a Pilot Project award and complete the supplemental budget page included in the application form. Refer to the Cancer Center Pilot Project Grant Application Instructions for allowable and non-allowable expense items. Submit two different transmittal forms - one for ACS IRG and one for the Pilot Projects program.

Do I have to be a Cancer Center member to apply for Cancer Center seed money support?

No

Are Instructors eligible to apply for ACS IRG grant support?

Only junior-level faculty are eligible - faculty within six years of their first independent faculty appointment or equivalent (e.g., Assistant Professor, Research Assistant Professor) who do not hold independent national competitive research grant.

Are Fellows eligible to apply for Cancer Center seed money support?

No, only Penn faculty with the appointment of Assistant Professor, Research Assistant Professor or Clinical Assistant Professor are eligible to apply.

Are senior research staff eligible to apply for Cancer Center seed money support?

No, only Penn faculty with the appointment of Assistant Professor, Research Assistant Professor or Clinical Assistant Professor are eligible to apply.

How do I fit my proposal text plus citations within the two-page Pilot Project or ACS IRG page limit?

ACS IRG and Pilot Project applications may extend to an additional page to include citations. Citations must be included within the allotted page limits for the Cancer Center Collaborative Pilot Project application .

Who will review my proposal?

The Cancer Center 's grant review committee consists of senior Cancer Center members, all of whom are University of Pennsylvania faculty members. Each proposal is assigned to approximately 2-3 reviewers who are familiar with the area of research being proposed.

Is a faculty member who is fully funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute eligible for Cancer Center developmental funds?

No. The Hughes support covers everything.

I am not an U.S. citizen. Am I eligible to apply for Cancer Center seed money support?

Yes, non-U.S. citizens who meet the eligibility criteria may apply to the Cancer Center Pilot Projects Program and the Cancer Center Collaborative Pilot Projects Program. Only citizens, non-citizen nationals, and permanent residents of the United States and its possessions or territories are eligible for an ACS IRG award.

I am not sure if a specific budget item is allowable according to the guidelines.

All budget questions may be addressed to Robert Wynne, Director of Financial and Administrative Affairs, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, at (215)662-3976 or wynner@mail.med.upenn.edu.

I have a question about indirect costs.

All budget questions may be addressed to Robert Wynne, Director of Financial and Administrative Affairs, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, at (215) 746-5520 or wynner@mail.med.upenn.edu.

How do I respond to the data sharing question in the Pilot Projects Program application?

Refer to NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance for more information and samples of plans.

Additional ACS IRG FAQs Provided by the American Cancer Society

How do you define a "beginning investigator?"

Beginning investigators are faculty or staff within six years of their first independent faculty appointment (or equivalent). They must be eligible to apply as principal investigator for grant support from national agencies, but have no such support at the time of the IRG award. The investigator must be independent and have a commitment from the institution for salary and space customary for an independent investigator. Senior postdoctoral fellows are not eligible.

I have an NIH R29 (FIRST) award. Am I eligible for an individual IRG allocation on the same or a different topic?

No. The NIH R29 is a nationally competitive research grant.

What about personnel grants that are primarily intended for the junior investigator's salary, such as the NIH K series?

As long as the applicant meets all other criteria, holders of personnel awards are eligible to receive seed money from the IRG.

I have a small grant from the local Division of the American Cancer Society, or a small foundation grant. Am I eligible for an individual IRG award?

As long as the grant is not the result of a national peer-reviewed competition and is for support of a different project, you may still apply for an IRG award.

I am an assistant professor with an R01 award, but want to initiate a project in a totally different area. May I apply for an individual IRG Award?

No. The IRG is intended for new investigators without an active (i.e., NIH, NSF, ACS) national competitive research grant, no matter what the topic.  However, you are eligible and welcomed to apply for a Cancer Center Pilot Project grant.